What sounds like another Cyntoia Brown case is another Black woman facing life in prison for murder and other charges for shooting and killing the man who sexually abused her.
Chrystul Kizer was only 16 years old when 33 year old Randy Volar began abusing her and recording his sexual assaults without her knowledge.
Last February, Volar was arrested on several charges including child sexual assault, but was released on his own recognizance, even though investigators found evidence that he was abusing over a dozen teenaged Black girls.
After Volar was freed, a few months later Kizer, then 17, went to Volar’s residence and allegedly shot him in the head. The 17 year old then allegedly set Volar’s body on fire and fled the scene in his vehicle. The same district attorney in Wisconsin who knew about Volar’s previous arrest and the evidence against him charged Chrystul with arson and first-degree intentional homicide, an offense that carries a mandatory life sentence.
Chrystul, now 19, argues that she was defending herself. “I didn’t intentionally try to do this,” she said. Chrystul says that when she told Volar that she didn’t want to do anything sexual that night, he pinned her to the floor. The situation resembles another high profile case involving Cyntoia Brown, who was serving a life sentence for killing and defending herself against a 43-year-old man who soliciting her for sex when she was only 16.
This month, in a courtroom that included Chyrstul’s mom and activists defending Chrystul, a judge decided that Chrystul doesn’t have access to the affirmative defense law for trafficking victims. From the judge’s perspective, neither would other trafficking victims charged with violent crimes. Chrystul’s lawyer plans to appeal the ruling, which could delay the jury trial for months. Meanwhile, Chrystul remains in a Wisconsin prison.